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President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Uzbekistan for state visit
Official news 22 JUNE, 2022

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Republic of Uzbekistan for a state visit.

 

A guard of honor was lined up for the head of state at Tashkent International Airport named after Islam Karimov decorated with the national flags of the two countries.

 

President Ilham Aliyev was welcomed by Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov and other officials.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have visited the Independence Monument in Tashkent.

 

President Ilham Aliyev laid a wreath at the monument.

 

The head of state was informed of the Independence Monument.

 

The presidents then posed for official photos.

 

***

 

An official welcome ceremony has been held for President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at Kuksaroy Residence in Tashkent.

 

A guard of honor was arranged for the Azerbaijani President in the square decorated with the national flags of the two countries.

 

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

 

The state anthems of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan were played.

 

The chief of the guard of honor reported to the Azerbaijani President.

 

President Ilham Aliyev saluted the Uzbek soldiers.

 

The presidents reviewed the guard of honor.

 

State and government officials of Uzbekistan were introduced to President Ilham Aliyev, while members of the Azerbaijani delegation were introduced to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

 

The guard of honor marched in front of the presidents to the accompaniment of a military march.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have held a meeting in a limited format.

 

The presidents first posed for official photos.

 

***

 

Following the ceremony of signing documents, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have made press statements.

 

President of Uzbekistan made the statement first.

 

Statement by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev

 

- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu,

 

Dear representatives of the media.

 

I want to sincerely welcome the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, and all members of the Azerbaijani delegation to the hospitable Uzbek land once again. Welcome to Uzbekistan!

 

The relations of traditional friendship, trust and mutual understanding with Azerbaijan are particularly valued in Uzbekistan. They are based on common spiritual values, religion, similar culture and language. Our peoples are bound together by a long history. Many cities of Azerbaijan where the mutual influence of eastern and western civilizations took place are mentioned in the scientific works of Ahmad Ferghani and Abu Reykhan Biruni. The funds of our Institute of Oriental Studies carefully store dozens of unique manuscripts of Azerbaijani poets and thinkers such as Nizami, Khagani, Tusi, Fuzuli, Khatai and many others. Today I presented one of Fuzuli's manuscripts to esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu. This, I think, is a treasure for us. There are a lot of such manuscripts in Uzbekistan. This is further evidence that the Uzbek people have been treating Azerbaijani culture with great respect and interest for centuries. I want to specifically note that the founding father of Uzbek literature and poetry, Alisher Navoi, was inspired by the works of great Nizami Ganjavi, whom he described as “the king of poets”. This is how he assessed it.

 

The glorious history of relations between the two peoples has created a solid foundation for the development of multifaceted cooperation between our countries in modern times. It is quite symbolic that the current visit is taking place exactly 25 years after the first official visit to our country by national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. It has become a great honor for me today, together with our dear guest, the distinguished President, to open the renovated street named after Heydar Aliyev and the bas-relief installed there. This is our tribute to the memory of a great man, a true leader of his people and a close friend of Uzbekistan.

 

Dear journalists, in our meetings in private and in an expanded format, we discussed in detail issues of our bilateral relations. I want to tell you that we have been very frank and sincere in all areas. We have very scrupulously, with pens in our hands, so to speak, outlined how we should further advance our relations so that they actually reach a strategic level and there is a tangible result from this historic visit of Ilham Heydar oglu to Uzbekistan. I think that in the expanded format too, each member of our delegations was told in detail what we want and how we will work, and we agreed that the two presidents will ask and check every month. The co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission will exchange views every month. We have even agreed that at the initial stage, once a month, the co-chairs would meet to synchronize watches so that there is a real result. Why are we doing this? Because we are actually raising our relationship to a whole new level. Why are we doing this? We want there to be a tangible result, so that the peoples of the two countries can feel it.

 

I think that thanks to our common efforts and the desire for further closeness, the relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have acquired an open and comprehensive nature. Trade, economic, inter-parliamentary, cultural, humanitarian and inter-regional cooperation has been stepped up. The current talks, I want to say again, demonstrate that we are ready to further strengthen interaction in every possible way in the interests of our peoples.

 

You have just witnessed the signing of a solid package of documents. Among them is the Declaration on the deepening of strategic partnership and building up comprehensive cooperation, which opens a new stage in our bilateral relations. We have also identified key areas of cooperation. The most important priority for us is to increase trade and industrial cooperation. We are seeing significant progress in this direction.

 

We agreed today that we would not limit ourselves to the figures our teams and delegations have prepared, because figures do not mean anything. They have, of course, increased six times, but speaking in general, they do not correspond to our relations, our capabilities, and we said that we would start from scratch and promote very real and comprehensive projects in all directions, in all sectors of our economy. I want to say again that we agreed to dramatically intensify our interaction. We have ample opportunities for this, first of all – the fact that our economies complement each other. As a result of the business forum yesterday alone, agreements and contracts worth more than half a billion dollars were signed. Of course, the figure of half a billion says something, but it does not correspond to our capabilities.

 

Special attention will be paid to cooperation projects. As you know, we have successfully established a joint production of cars in Hajigabul. We are developing cooperation in the field of sericulture. In the automotive industry, we agreed that we would increase production in new areas, because we already have experience, there is complete mutual understanding and complete trust, and we said that we would support this industry from both sides. We are working on dozens of new projects in the extractive industries, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, production of building materials, finished textiles, food, jewelry and winemaking. To this end, we have agreed to launch a joint investment fund this year. We have also instructed our joint intergovernmental commission to adopt industrial cooperation programs.

 

Another strategic direction is the development of transport communications. Today, the volume of cargo transportation is increasing, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. We have agreed to develop new corridors, increase multimodal transportation, and create favorable conditions for the transport companies of our countries.

 

Against the backdrop of growing climate and food security challenges, we intend to work more closely in agriculture. We will extensively share scientific and innovative developments, establish cooperation on the digitalization of the agricultural sector, and implement investment projects. We have also agreed on agriculture – the sectors we will work together in and those that will produce results faster, the areas in which we will complement each other. In Azerbaijan, digitalization in agriculture is very developed, and we said that it would be very beneficial for us to adopt this experience of digitalization in agriculture.

 

Particular attention in the talks was paid to the activation of interregional ties. An agreement has been signed today that opens up ample opportunities for direct contacts between our cities and regions. We plan to hold the first forum of regions, establish close contacts, primarily in the field of trade, innovation, culture and tourism. In the cultural and humanitarian sphere, we have also had a lot in common since ancient times. In Uzbekistan, people not only listen but also perform Azerbaijani mugham with pleasure, and people in Azerbaijan listen to our maqoms. Azerbaijani and Uzbek variety art enjoys great popularity in both countries. We are grateful to our Azerbaijani friends for the recent publication in Baku of dozens of books by Alisher Navoi translated by well-known literary critic Ramiz Asgar. Works of Azerbaijani classics and modern writers are also regularly published in Uzbekistan. The presentation of a new book by People's Writer of Azerbaijan Anar took place in Tashkent the other day. In the course of negotiations with esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu, we agreed to hold mutual Days of Culture and Cinema and actively develop a humanitarian and tourist exchange program.

 

We have also exchanged views on topical issues on the international agenda and outlined plans for military and military-technical cooperation. We have acknowledged the constructive nature of the dialogue and the importance of mutual support within the framework of the United Nations and the Organization of Turkic States, the CIS, the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement and other international organizations.

 

Dear friends, the results of the historic state visit of the President of Azerbaijan are truly breakthrough. Today, my brother Ilham Heydar oglu and I shaped up all the conditions for establishing and achieving tangible results in the future so that, as I said, your historic visit is aligned with our strategic partnership. We are talking about the deepening of strategic partnership. We want our entire team, all our ministers to take a completely different attitude to the matter. I want to sincerely tell you that I am very satisfied with today's talks. We spoke in great detail about all the issues that we raised at meetings in a limited and expanded format, and we have mutual understanding and common approaches both in international and interregional politics. We have paid particular attention to our bilateral relations.

 

So I want to say again that we are doing everything to have a strong Uzbekistan and a strong Azerbaijan. When they are strong, we will make others respect us. And we have every reason for that. So the visit is historic, it has a very good basis, and we must implement this basis in the future. I want to tell you again that have agreed that Ilham Heydar oglu will visit Samarkand in November. In Samarkand, we will listen to how ministers follow up on today's agreements. Why am I saying this? Because, you know, we have great opportunities, but a very small result. So today we agreed on serious promising projects for our further cooperation. I think the visit is historic and I am fully satisfied with our talks. Thank you for your attention, and now I am pleased to give the floor to Ilham Heydar oglu.

 

Х Х Х

 

Then the President of Azerbaijan made the statement.

 

Statement by President Ilham Aliyev

 

- Dear Shavkat Miromonovich, let me once again express my gratitude to you for the invitation and hospitality extended to me and members of the Azerbaijani delegation. I am very pleased to be on the land of fraternal Uzbekistan, to have the opportunity to discuss a wide range of bilateral relations and important issues on the foreign policy agenda with you.

 

My visit today began with a very significant event – the opening of a bas-relief of national leader Heydar Aliyev in the center of Tashkent, a square bearing his name and a beautiful park. I express my gratitude to you, Shavkat Miromonovich, as President of Azerbaijan and as the son of Heydar Aliyev, for such an attitude towards the memory of my father, I express my gratitude on behalf of myself and the entire Azerbaijani people. We appreciate it very much. We have seen with how much love and respect the memory of Heydar Aliyev is honored in Uzbekistan, and we are very pleased. Today, at the opening of the bas-relief and the square, we spoke and talked about Heydar Aliyev, about his attitude towards Uzbekistan. This is the attitude that I am sure every Azerbaijani shares today. As the successor of my father's work and as President of Azerbaijan, I always pay special attention to our bilateral relations. Today's state visit is a clear confirmation of this. It was postponed due to the pandemic. It was also necessary to prepare it carefully so that, as my brother Shavkat Miromonovich said, we could make a breakthrough. I think this is actually a breakthrough visit because in terms of the essence, form and content of the topics discussed, the decisions we have reached, this visit and agreements will be the basis for the future development of our relations.

 

Many documents were signed within the framework of the business forum yesterday. The total number of documents is close to 20 now. As Shavkat Miromonovich said, the political Declaration on the deepening of strategic partnership and building up interaction is of a very global nature. This is essentially a roadmap for our activities in the future. It reflects foreign policy priorities, it expresses mutual support for the territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty of our states, and it also defines specific tasks and goals in many areas of life. Having already spent several hours together today, we have further specified the areas in which we will work. Orders have been given. Shavkat Miromonovich has already spoken about this in detail, so I do not want to repeat the areas we have discussed. And I am sure there will be results, because it is under the control of the presidents. Relevant ministers, heads of state agencies, I am sure, are well aware that we will monitor and ask them for the fulfillment of the tasks the presidents have set. The fulfillment of these tasks will lead to the fact that the relations between our countries will become even stronger, there will be even more cooperation and mutual support between us. The region of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia, the South Caucasus today is a region that needs peace and stability. The basis of this, of course, is the political resolve of the leaders, as well as economic prerequisites. I think that the agreements we have reached today on increasing trade, investment projects, transport and logistical areas, the projects related to the deepening of cooperation in agriculture – all this will create excellent opportunities for increasing trade and even greater cooperation between our countries and peoples.

 

I would like to specifically note the emerging cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres. This area is a priority for each country, and even more so for our countries as we are located in regions that require daily attention to issues of security and defense capabilities. Therefore, I think what we agreed on today will be fulfilled. We will actively communicate on the exchange of experience, cooperation in the military-technical sphere, the educational sphere of the defense sector, and we will also plan steps that will mutually strengthen our security.

 

The Declaration was signed today. The Political Declaration essentially takes our relations to a qualitatively new level. And, of course, mutual support – be it within the framework of international organizations or other issues related to the security of our countries and peoples – naturally requires constant attention. This will be done because there is political will for this.

 

I would like to specifically note today the support the Uzbek people and the President of Uzbekistan have provided to Azerbaijan when we were restoring our territorial integrity. Azerbaijanis know this very well, remember and highly appreciate your fraternal attitude. The words of the President of Uzbekistan, his congratulations on our Victory – naturally, all this is perceived in Azerbaijan as the words of a friend, the words of a brother. We do appreciate that. For our part, we are also next to Uzbekistan, next to the Uzbek people in all matters. Today's visit is another demonstration of this. In fact, today we are also talking about economic cooperation, contacts between business entities, issues related to security and defense capabilities. Foreign policy initiatives, the deepening of cooperation within the framework of international organizations, issues related to the humanitarian sphere, culture – so in a broad sense, the foundation is being laid for our future active interaction. I am sure that everything we have planned on will be fulfilled.

 

In conclusion, I would like to once again congratulate the fraternal Uzbek people on all the recent achievements. We are closely following what is happening in Uzbekistan, we rejoice in your successes, we are glad that the reforms initiated by Shavkat Miromonovich are already yielding results. It is clear that such fundamental reforms take time. But what has been achieved in a short time speaks, firstly, of the will of the President, of the fact that the Uzbek people support these undertakings, and that they are producing results. And this is visible not only in statistics, it is visible, I am sure, to every person visiting Tashkent. I have been to Tashkent before, and seeing today's transformations, I am sincerely glad that the fraternal country is developing successfully, peace, order, stability, unity of the government and society are the main factors of development for each state. Of course, I would like to congratulate the President on the fact that everything he has outlined is being carried out and, I am sure, will be fully implemented. I also want to congratulate the fraternal Uzbek people on these achievements. I am also sure that everything that the two presidents have instructed their delegations to do today will be fulfilled. Of course, they know that we will be strictly monitoring performance, we will control this quite seriously, we will not forgive mistakes, and if there are good results, we will be happy to praise them.

 

Once again, dear Shavkat Miromonovich, thank you for such a kind attitude, for hospitality, and I wish prosperity and further development to the fraternal Uzbek people. Thank you.

 

Х Х Х

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Ilham Heydar oglu, thank you again for such support of our reforms. Of course, our today's agreements indicate that we will continue to translate our today's agreements into real life. You very correctly noted that everything we are doing today is for the benefit of the two peoples. We live in very difficult times. Every country, of course, thinks about tomorrow. You correctly said that the people trust the reforms we are implementing in Uzbekistan, and these reforms, of course, have great prospects. These results cannot be achieved in any country in such a short time. In this regard, we, together with our friends, including Azerbaijan, want to establish these relations so that they actually cover strategic areas. Much has been done in the field of reforms in Azerbaijan under the leadership of Ilham Heydar oglu. Of course, we also see and, as close neighbors, always rejoice in that. We also wish the people of Azerbaijan headed by you to implement all your plans so that our friendly country, Azerbaijan, continues to flourish.

 

I want to say this again – we are saying this quite strictly to our teams that control would be very rigorous. As Ilham Heydar oglu has said, we will both punish and encourage. Why? Because, you know, we spoke very scrupulously, deeply and in a trusting manner about our possibilities in general and the state of our current cooperation. You know, there is not a single direction in which we could not cooperate or that there would be no result in. There is a strong political will of the two presidents today, and we have complemented this will of the two presidents on the responsibility of our team. I think that team members, members of the delegations from both the Uzbek and Azerbaijani sides will draw the right conclusions, and, as I said, the meeting in Samarkand will be historic and productive. What is the result? We have to saturate our relations and actually create a new platform and new directions. As Ilham Heydar oglu has said, this roadmap should be implemented in real life. When we saturate it and understand each other, this will be the key to our future relationship. If we properly saturate it and correctly adopt the roadmap, 2023 will be a fruitful year. I think that this result will be evident in our future meetings.

 

Once again, I sincerely want to welcome and wish the best of luck to Ilham Heydar oglu and the entire Azerbaijani people.

 

***

 

The Heydar Aliyev Square has today been inaugurated in Tashkent.

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on a state visit to Uzbekistan, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the opening ceremony.

 

The square is located in the Mirabad district of the capital, in an area populated by Azerbaijanis. The surrounding buildings have been renovated. The square has been completely reconstructed, a green area has been laid out and all conditions have been created for local residents to have a rest.

 

A large memorial of great leader Heydar Aliyev has been erected in the central part of the square.

 

Located on a street named after national leader Heydar Aliyev, the square will be one of the most popular places for recreation of local residents and visitors.

 

President of Uzbekistan and President of Azerbaijan made speeches at the ceremony.

 

Speech by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev

 

- Dear Ilham Heydar oglu,

 

Dear members of the delegation,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

Today we are welcoming our dear guest, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, to the fertile land of Uzbekistan. There is a deep meaning in the fact that your state visit begins with the opening ceremony of a street named after the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, a great friend of Uzbekistan, respected Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, as well as a bas-relief installed here.

 

We all know Heydar Aliyev well. He went down in history as an outstanding politician and statesman of the 20th century. He devoted his entire life to native Azerbaijan. In the most difficult years for the country, he boldly assumed tremendous responsibility for its fate, laid the foundations of modern statehood and successfully implemented large-scale transformations in all spheres of life in Azerbaijan. He was truly the architect of independent Azerbaijan. His firm determination and political will, his vast experience as a leader and exceptional leadership qualities saved the young and independent state. It is deeply symbolic that every year on 15 June Azerbaijan celebrates the National Salvation Day of the Azerbaijani people. It was on this day that Heydar Aliyev returned to the leadership of the country and was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan.

 

I think that it would be appropriate to recall the difficult pages in the history of our countries prior to achieving independence. Our peoples had to endure difficult and sometimes tragic times. Nevertheless, both the Uzbek and Azerbaijani peoples have retained their spiritual values, national pride and self-consciousness, and defended the right to build their own future. Assessing the thorny path we have traveled to the long-awaited freedom, we can say with confidence that independence and sovereignty have been dearly paid for by our peoples. The price of freedom is always the fate of generations, their lives, faith and conscience. And today, our sacred duty is to appreciate the acquired national independence, strengthen it in every possible way and pass it on to future generations. Considering the lessons of history, today we are once again paying tribute to the truly unique personality of Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. Just as a moment and eternity are inextricably linked, so Heydar Aliyev cannot be separated from the history of the Azerbaijani people and its life.

 

Heydar Aliyev often repeated the immortal lines of great Samad Vurgun: “I am all yours, forever given to you as a son, Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan.” Therefore, the name and image of Heydar Aliyev are perceived throughout the world as a symbol of all the good and noble qualities inherent in the Azerbaijani people.

 

Elected president in the most dramatic period in the country's life, he achieved peace, stability and civil harmony, and laid out the vector for the development of modern Azerbaijan for many decades to come. He managed to strongly promote the economy, science, education, contributed to the revival of national values, strengthening the traditions of tolerance of the Azerbaijani people. In a relatively short period of time, new industries were established in the country, dozens of large plants and factories were built, hundreds of schools, libraries, centers of culture and museums were opened. Azerbaijan began to develop rapidly, embarking on the path of building a democratic state and the rule of law, took its rightful place in the international arena, gained high authority and respect. Heydar Aliyev was a true patriot. His very name is quite symbolic. As you know, Heydar means “leader”. He really was the leader, the leader of his people. Relying on the wise words of great poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi, he always said: “I consider love of my native land to be my duty.” This was the meaning of his life. And his most cherished dream was the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus. The dream of the restoration of historical justice was successfully realized by the President of Azerbaijan, esteemed Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev. For all these years, Uzbekistan has firmly advocated the position of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan on the basis of international law. We have spoken about this wherever possible and always strongly and firmly supported it. Once again, on behalf of the Uzbek people and on my own behalf, I sincerely congratulate the fraternal people of Azerbaijan on this Victory.

 

The activities of Heydar Aliyev, his outstanding personality and great legacy are highly appreciated by prominent politicians and public figures around the world. Dear participants of the ceremony, I would like to highlight the huge contribution Heydar Aliyev has made to the development and strengthening of friendly relations between our countries and the historical ties between the two peoples. There were open and most trusting relations between him and the leaders of Uzbekistan Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov and then Islam Abduganievich Karimov. The friendship between our leaders has allowed the two countries and fraternal peoples to interact closely and develop active exchanges, including humanitarian ones. The national leader of Azerbaijan has always treated the Uzbek people with great respect. A comprehensively educated and deeply intelligent person, he sincerely admired our history, culture and traditions. In 1996, Heydar Aliyev, while visiting the The State Museum of Timurids History in Tashkent, left an entry in the Book of Honored Guests, in which, in particular, he emphasized: “Many thanks to the people of Uzbekistan for the careful and respectful attitude to the merits, the historical heritage of Amir Timur. This is a manifestation of high morality and wisdom.”

 

In recent years, thanks to our joint efforts, the relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have reached a high level of strategic partnership, and they are filled with concrete content. I would like to express special gratitude to you, dear Ilham Heydar oglu, for your personal attention and comprehensive strengthening of cooperation between our countries. I am confident that your state visit will give a new powerful impetus to the further development of our mutually beneficial ties.

 

Dear friends, today, remembering the good name of the national leader of Azerbaijan, I would like to quote the words of great Uzbek poet Hamid Alimjan: “A person is alive as long as the memory of him is alive.” I am convinced that these words are perceived in the same way both in Uzbekistan and in Azerbaijan. I am convinced that this memorial complex, dedicated to the great man and patriot, builder of the future youth of both Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan look up to today, Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev, will become a vivid symbol of the unbreakable friendship of our countries and peoples, a revered place for residents and visitors to our native Uzbekistan. Once again, I want to express my sincere gratitude. We have been preparing for this visit for a very long time. But there have been a few objective reasons, there has been pandemic. I want to say that Ilham Heydar oglu is paying his first official visit after the pandemic to Uzbekistan. This is very symbolic. I want to say again: “Welcome to Uzbekistan.” Today, all the people of Uzbekistan, all the people are already waiting for you. I think that this visit will be a historic visit. Of course, we will talk about everything today. This will give a great impetus to our relations, and we will take our relations to a completely different level in the future because we have been preparing for this for a long time. Mr. President, welcome to Uzbekistan.

 

Now, it is my pleasure to give the floor to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev.

 

x x x

 

Speech by President Ilham Aliyev

 

-Dear Shavkat Miromonovich,

 

Dear friends!

 

First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Shavkat Miromonovich for the invitation to visit fraternal Uzbekistan. As Shavkat Miromonovich has said, I suspended all official visits due to the pandemic and have not paid official visits for more than two years. And I am paying my first official visit after the pandemic to fraternal Uzbekistan. This is a manifestation of our relations, a manifestation of the brotherhood and friendship between our peoples. I am very grateful to my dear brother Shavkat Miromonovich for the initiative, for creating such a beautiful corner in the center of Tashkent dedicated to the memory of my father Heydar Aliyev. A street, a square, a bas-relief, a beautiful park – this is a truly fraternal attitude towards the memory of the great leader of the Azerbaijani people, towards the entire Azerbaijani people. We in Azerbaijan highly appreciate this. We are very grateful, and we see this as a truly fraternal attitude of our Uzbek brothers to our great leader, to our common history. It is also a sign of respect for the entire Azerbaijani people to whom Heydar Aliyev devoted his entire life. I am very grateful to Shavkat Miromonovich for the kind words about my father. He has very succinctly and accurately described our leader. Heydar Aliyev dedicated his whole life to serving Azerbaijan, and both in the Soviet times and during the years of independence, he was always with his people. In the most difficult times, at times when our people were subjected to aggression and persecution, he always stood next to the people. On 20 January 1990, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, he publicly condemned the Soviet leadership for sending the Soviet army to Baku, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent Azerbaijanis. This required great political courage. Because it was still not known back then how much longer the Soviet Union would exist. He did that. He was also with his people in the most difficult times, when the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was subjected to aggression, and by leading the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic he essentially defended this historical piece of Azerbaijan, this ancient land from aggression. It was also on his initiative that the flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which existed from 1918 to the 1920, was officially adopted as the state flag in Nakhchivan long before the Soviet Union was consigned to history and Azerbaijan restored its independence. Then there was a period associated with civil war. It was Heydar Aliyev who, by the will of the people, stopped the civil war in 1993 and put our country on the path of development. The strengthening of our statehood, reforms and development – everything in Azerbaijan is associated with his name. And we are proud to be continuing his work. In his political testament shortly before his death, he said addressing the Azerbaijani people: “What I could not finish will be finished by my followers.” We, his followers, are proud that to have implemented all his precepts and, first of all, restored historical justice, restored the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

 

As Shavkat Miromonovich correctly noted, Heydar Aliyev treated the Uzbek people with great love. As his son, I can testify to this as an eyewitness, and his friendship with Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov in the 1970s was known to the entire Soviet leadership. In the 1990s, his friendship with Islam Abduganievich Karimov is also known to our peoples, and this was the basis of today's development of our relations. Shavkat Miromonovich and I are continuing to move along this glorious path. We are leading our peoples along the path of development and the path of close cooperation.

 

My state visit today is not only evidence of our intentions, but also evidence of the solid foundation of our fraternal and friendly relations. The attitude of Heydar Aliyev to the Uzbek people and Uzbekistan as a whole is very well known in Uzbekistan. Today we are very glad to see Uzbekistan under the leadership of my brother Shavkat Miromonovich as a powerful and independent state, leading an independent foreign policy, relying on its own resources, as a country that has achieved tremendous success in terms of socioeconomic development. It is enough to look at the statistical figures over the past five to six years to see how great successes Uzbekistan has achieved under the leadership of Shavkat Miromonovich in strengthening independence, defense capability, economic potential, solving social issues, and urban planning. We see this and rejoice in that as friends and brothers.

 

Once again, on behalf of the entire Azerbaijani people, I would like to express our gratitude, first of all, to the President of Uzbekistan, to the fraternal Uzbek people for such an attitude towards the memory of Heydar Aliyev. We in Azerbaijan highly appreciate and will never forget this. This is another contribution to the strengthening of fraternal relations between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Long live the unity and brotherhood of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.

 

x x x

 

The heads of state inaugurated the memorial complex.

 

President Ilham Aliyev and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev then laid flowers at the memorial complex.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have viewed the activity of Technopark LLC in Tashkent.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have planted a tree on the Alley of Honored Guests at the Kuksaroy residence.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on state visit to Uzbekistan, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev have familiarized themselves with Ichan-Kala Historical Architectural State Museum in the city of Khiva.

 

The head of state was informed of the Ichan-Kala.

 

The Ichan-Kala Historical Architectural State Museum was founded in 1920. Since 1969 the Ichan-Kala city is a museum and reserve.

 

The total area of the museum is 26 hectares and was built according to the ancient traditions of Central Asian town building.

 

14 independent exhibits in the 69 halls of the museum-reserve reveal the period of Khorezm and Khiva's history, practical art, craft, culture and literary life.

 

***

 

As reported, on June 21, an official dinner was hosted on behalf of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in honor of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the Kuksaroy residence in Tashkent.

 

The event then featured a concert program.

 

Then Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Shavkat Mirziyoyev talked to people of art.

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: This is our first meeting. We will go to Azerbaijan. Days of Culture will be held first in Azerbaijan and then in Uzbekistan. We have agreed to award both Azerbaijani and Uzbek artists with the titles of People's Artist of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan on Independence Day. However, the jury has decided that the first candidate is Nasiba khanim.

 

President Ilham Aliyev: I am very pleased to be visiting brotherly Uzbekistan today. My brother Shavkat Miromonovich and I have been together all day today, and at the end of the day you made us happy, i.e. you made us happy with your art, your music, the beautiful performance of Azerbaijani and Uzbek songs.

 

Our religion, language and culture are the same. We have common roots. Today, this unity is before our eyes, and we must perpetuate this unity. Thank you, thank you very much. I am inviting all of you to Azerbaijan. We are ready to welcome you to Azerbaijan. We will be very happy to see you.

 

Art Masters: Thank you very much. Welcome!

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: My dear brother, our dear guest is visiting Uzbekistan today. In general, my brother's visit is a historic one. Our first event was the opening of a square, a street and a monument named after the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev. This is our history, the embodiment of our sincere friendship.

 

There are many achievements that embody our friendship. It is very valuable when we are spiritually and morally close to each other. It does not matter to us whether it is Azerbaijan or Uzbekistan. We have a great common history.

 

Welcoming the head of state, the Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, Tanzila Norbaeva, said: Please pass on my greetings to Mehriban khanim.

 

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. I will.

 

Tanzila Narbayeva: We know her very well.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has hosted a reception in honor of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the city of Khiva.

 

The event featured a concert program.

 

The heads of state listened to the performances of artists and spoke with them.

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: First of all, our artists showed my friend, my brother Ilham Heydar oglu our beautiful culture, art and their closeness in beautiful Khiva, Uzbekistan. I am very grateful to you, and I felt very proud today that my brother and I spoke the same language and there was no interpreter between us. These artists sang of our culture, history, ancestral roots and unity with deep love, affection and respect, showing that the historical unity and future of these two great nations is truly unshakable. We have been talking and discussing our friendship and relations since yesterday. But today you have shown this in practice through art. I am grateful to you.

 

It is commendable that we have respected our culture, history, in general, our magom and mugham in recent years. Years will pass, centuries will pass and you will be involved in this culture in the future. Your children, neighbors and friends will always be in touch with this culture. I am pleased to tell my brother Ilham Heydar oglu that artists have shown us a new culture in New Uzbekistan.

 

President Ilham Aliyev: I understood everything my brother Shavkat Miromonovich has said, there was no need for an interpreter. My state visit ends today. I am very pleased to have visited Tashkent yesterday, Khiva, Urgench and Khorezm today. Yesterday and today, I saw once again how close our peoples are to each other. Our culture, art and, in general, the roots of our peoples are the same. The songs sung in the Azerbaijani language seemed to have been performed by Azerbaijani singers. There is no dialect. What does this indicate? It indicates the unity of our peoples. You are our pride, performers, artists and masters of culture who glorify our Turkic culture.

 

During the conversation with Shavkat Miromonovich at this table, the President knew the names of every single performer. He knew where they had studied, that someone had studied in Baku or elsewhere, the Minister of Culture, etc. This shows that the President deals with the issues of each artist personally. His love for you is his love for the Uzbek people.

 

Today I discovered a new Uzbekistan for myself. New Uzbekistan is flourishing in the person of my brother, through you. May the life of the new Uzbekistan be successful and prosperous. Inshallah, all of us – the Uzbek and Azerbaijani peoples – will be together like a fist.

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Inshallah.

 

President Ilham Aliyev: We also have these hats. The Khorezm dialect is very similar to the Azerbaijani language. We call this hat the Bukhara hat.

 

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: From the first day, my brother Ilham Heydar oglu and I exchanged views and made decisions on the implementation of many issues, on our unity, solidarity and, most importantly, our peaceful life and prosperity. We have discussed major plans for our future cooperation. I want to tell you that economics and politics are important, but the main value that unites us is culture. I think culture is a strong tool that brings us closer together. We have agreed to make reciprocal visits at least every three months, increase traffic and raise our cultural unity to a new level.

 

It would be so wonderful to organize a joint concert on the art of mugham and magom based on Fuzuli and Navai poems with the participation of our orchestra during our meeting in Samarkand in November this year. I think that if you prepare for it for a month, you can achieve great results. None of our intentions and actions can be realized without culture, without contacts with culture.

 

I am grateful to our orchestra, which prepared this concert for my brother in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in Khiva, in the Khorezm region, in a distant land. Our Minister of Culture organized this orchestra, and I appreciate his service. Thank you.

 

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.

 

X X X

 

Then a picture was taken.

 

***

 

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has ended his state visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 

At the Urgench International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries, President Ilham Aliyev was seen off by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

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